A volunteer at the Church of the Nativity in Timonium has been charged with sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl, Baltimore County Police said.
Terrence Shondry Smalls, 26, of Lutherville was charged this week with sex abuse of a minor, second degree assault, child abuse, second-degree custodian and second-degree sex offense. He was released on $75,000 bail from the Baltimore County Detention Center Friday evening.
Police said the girl told her mother last month she had been sexually abused by a man volunteering in the church nursery during a Sunday morning mass.
According to court documents, the girl said she was inappropriately touched by a male volunteer in her church daycare room. Police stated Smalls was the only male volunteer in the room that day. Smalls told officers that he did take the victim into the bathroom but denied any wrongdoing.
“Our Crimes Against Children Unit has a very specific procedure, very specific people they use for interviews with children this young and they're very confident that this allegation is valid," said Baltimore County Police Corporal John Wachter.
Smalls began volunteering with the church back in 2010 and was involved in various children's programs, according to the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Smalls also worked as an assistant at Pot Spring Elementary School.
“He helped out at Pot Spring Elementary School, volunteered with a girl scout troop that met at Pot Spring Elementary School and Epworth Church that was from 2011 to 2015," said Wachter.
A spokesman with Baltimore County Public Schools said Smalls' employment ended in late November after they were made aware of the allegations. Smalls also underwent background checks before he started in 2013.
Parents were notified through a phone system that he's no longer working at the school.
“We need everyone to take a look at his picture. [He's had] a lot of contact with kids. We're really, really worried that there might be another victim out there. He's only charged in this one case and I certainly hope that this it but there's a really deep concern that this is not the end,” Wachter said.
Police said Smalls has been employed or has volunteered at a number of locations that put him in contact with children, including:
- Babysitting services for children under six advertised on www.Sitter.com
- An assistant at Pot Spring Elementary School
- Volunteer with the Girl Scout troop that met at Pot Spring Elementary School and Epworth Church in Cockeysville from 2011 to 2015
- Before and After Care program at Pot Spring Elementary School from 2011 to 2014
- Church of the Nativity
- Little Gym in Hunt Valley from July to October of 2016
There are no known victims at locations other than the Church of the Nativity, Baltimore County Police said.
Anyone with information about Smalls is asked to call Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020.
In a statement from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, officials said the Archdiocese and the Church of the Nativity have been cooperating with the investigation.
“All Archdiocesan volunteers who work with children are screened for criminal histories and the national sex offender registry, and go through training on how to recognize, prevent, and report child abuse. Mr. Smalls went through this process in 2010 and again in 2015,” a statement from the Archdiocese read. “The Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Church of the Nativity are committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse.”
The Archdiocese asked anyone with knowledge of any child sexual abuse to call Baltimore County Police, Crimes Against Children Unit at 410-853-3650.
If church personnel are suspected of committing the abuse, call the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection Hotline at 1-866-417-7469, the Archdiocese said.